Minutemen complete sweep, 6-3

Recorder Staff
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Niko Rufo recorded a hat trick, and the University of Massachusetts hockey team completed an impressive weekend sweep of Quinnipiac behind a 6-3 victory Saturday night at the Mullins Center.

The Minutemen, who also won Friday night’s game in Hamden, Conn., 2-1, improved to 7-6 overall on the season.

“When you see Quinnipiac on the schedule for two games, I don’t think me or my staff imaged we would sweep,” said UMass head coach Greg Carvel. “They are a very good team. (Friday) we found a way to win the game that we may not have deserved. (Saturday), we were opportunistic while they had a lot of shots, but I’m not so sure the shot total reflected the game. Our kids compete hard and we are proud of our guys. There is a certain way we attempt to play and Quinnipiac makes you compete hard. Again, we were opportunistic, got some breaks and odd-man rushed, and it was nice to score a power-play goal in the third period.”

Quinnipiac (5-6-1) actually held a decisive 50-19 edge in shots on goal in Saturday’s game. Bobcats goaltender Keith Petruzzelli, a Wilbraham native who played at Cathedral High School, allowed six goals on 19 shots.

UMass built a 2-0 lead in the first period behind goals from Rufo and Oliver Chau, before Quinnipiac cut the deficit in half with a goal just before intermission.

Mitchell Chaffee and Rufo scored back-to-back goals in the second period to push the lead to 4-1 entering the third, while Chau made it 5-1 on a power-play goal, his second of the night.

The Bobcats clawed back with two goals in the third, making it 5-3 with just under four minutes to play. But Rufo capped the scoring by completing his hat trick with an empty-net goal with 1:40 to play.

Chau picked up his first career multi-goal game as well, and his fourth multi-point game of the season. Cale Makar and Jake Gaudet both posted their first career multi-point efforts with two assists apiece. Chaffee’s goal and assist marked his third multi-point game of the year.

Sophomore Ryan Wischow totaled a whopping 47 saves for the Minutemen in his second straight win over Quinnipiac.

UMass returns to action Friday night when it hosts UConn at the Mullins Center for a 7 p.m. game.